Pepper (Piper nigrum), a native of Malabar Coast
of India, is popularly known as the king of spices. There are black, green and white peppers available at various stages of maturity.
The plant requires a long rainy season, fairly high temperatures, and partial shade for best growth. Pepper is a perennial climber requiring the support of live or dead posts. Propagation is by stem cuttings.
Pepper contains phosphorous, iron, calcium and thiamine. Pepper powder is used in salads, soups, stocks, gravies, curries, sambhar, rasam and sandwiches. White pepper is used for hair and scalp disorders. Black pepper is a digestive, aromatic, pungent, stimulant and is also a nerve tonic.